France Ligue 2 – Strasbourg v Amiens Preview (6/8/16)

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Strasbourg preview

Les Alsatians drew 0-0 at Bourg-en-Bresse last week but certainly had the better of proceedings. They dominated the first half and created good chances to score but failed to convert their pressure into goals. After the break the match was rather a drab affair, but overall a good point for Strasbourg on their return to Ligue 2. Last year in the National Division they kept a number of clean sheets and I’m sure it was nice for them to start this campaign off on a similar note. This is a really big game for Thierry Laurey’s men. It’s their first home match back in the second tier following a number of dismal years in lower ligues. A large attendance is expected and Les Alsatians will be roared on by their passionate fans. The exact same squad has been called up for this week’s match with striker Jeremy Blayac and playmaker Dimitri Lienard still injured. However, with the likes of Baptiste Guillaume & Vincent Gragnic now both in their ranks, it’d probably be a struggle for those injured duo to actually start now.

Amiens preview

The visitors drew 1-1 at home to Reims on Monday night, an outcome I’m sure they’d have readily accepted if offered it before the game. But considering they faced 10 men for over 85 mins then maybe it was a chance missed. Amiens played fairly well in that game without really creating too much. When they did get opportunities they failed to convert or came up against good goalkeeping. I’d say on paper they have one of the weakest sides in Ligue 2 but their coach is good and they seem to have plenty of spirit. Centre back Khaled Adenon returns after suspension, whilst new left back Bakaye Dibassy is included for the first time. This should lead to a more balanced defence which on paper seemed very disjointed on Monday night. Reims didn’t test them too much though so we didn’t really see the Amiens backline under pressure. They claimed a double over Strasbourg last season which included a 1-0 victory at Le Stade Meinau, the only team to beat Les Alsatians here in 2015/16

Conclusion & betting analysis

That aforementioned Amiens win here wasn’t so long ago back in May. It was a 90th minute winner which at the time denied Strasbourg promotion. Coupled with the other defeat Amiens handed them last year, I’m sure the hosts are desperate for revenge. Both of these are promoted teams but Strasbourg have invested in much more quality and are rightful favourites. When you consider the ability they’ve signed like Gragnic, Guillaume, Goncalves & Nogueira it’s understandable why many people even make them dark horses for promotion. I have to favour Les Alsatians here. They've had a full eight days to prepare for this fixture whilst Amiens have had a short week. They have a better team on paper and should be super motivated for this big occasion. This is a ligue with a high % of draws so I always prefer a -0.25 handicap where possible. But in a similar way to the Ajaccio pick last night, sometimes you have to be bold and put your money where your mouth is. I’ll have a stab with Strasbourg -0.5 @ 2.04. Ultimately I think they could win with a bit to spare and should have enough to beat off Amiens.

Prediction: 2-0
Recommended bet 1 unit: Strasbourg -0.5 @ 2.04 (minimum odds acceptable 1.85)

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